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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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greatest actions of other people, are tedious in comparison of the serious trifles, that every man can call to mind of himself, while he was learning those histories.    Youthful passages of life are the chippings of Pitt's diamond1, set into little heart-rings with mottos;  the stone itself more worth, the filings more gentle and agreeable.    Alexander at the head of the world never tasted the true pleasure that boys of his own age have enjoyed at the head of a school. Little intrigues, little schemes, and policies, engage their thoughts, and at the same time that they are laying the foundation for their middle age of life, the mimic republic they live in furnishes materials of conversation for their latter age; and old men cannot be said to be children a second time with greater truth for any one cause, than their living over again their childhood in imagination.    To reflect on the season when first they felt the titillation of love, the budding passions, and the first dear object of their wishes! how unexperienced they gave credit to all the  tales of romantic loves !   Dear George, were not the playing fields at Eton food for all manner of flights?    No  old maid's gown, though it had been tormented into all the fashions from King James to King G-eorge, ever underwent so many transformations as those poor plains have in my idea.    At first I was contented with tending a visionary flock, and sighing some pastoral name to the echo of the cascade under the bridge.    How happy should I have been to have had a kingdom only for the pleasure of being driven from it, and living disguised in an humble vale !   As I got further into Virgil and Clelia2,1 found myself transported from Arcadia to the garden of Italy; and saw Windsor Castle in no other
LBTTBK 7.—1 The 'Pitt Diamond' was bought for about £20,000 in India by Thomas Ktt (grandfather of the Earl of Chatham), when Governor of Madras. It was purchased from him in 1717 by the Kegent Duo d'
Orleans, on behalf of Louis XV, for £130,000. The fragments from it when cut were valued at several thousand pounds.
2 ClMie, the celebrated novel by Madeleine de Scudery.